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February 21, 2015

Graham DeLaet


DOUG MILNE:¬† We'll get started.¬† Thanks for joining us for a few minutes after, as you said, a tough round three but 1‑under 70 kind of keeps you right there in great position heading into the final round.¬† Just a few thoughts on today's round.
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, I'm happy shooting under par.  It's a tough golf course.  It's just so demanding and tests your patience, as I was saying to you earlier.  I'm satisfied with it.  It would have been nice to make a nice shot into 18.  Would have been nice to make that birdie and get within one of Retief but happy all in all with how I played today.

Q.  Talk about that birdie on 16, after Retief chipped in.
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† It was a quick putt.¬† I knew it was right‑to‑left and it was one of those things, I was trying to roll it over this pitchmark, and my caddie said, you know, that went right over the pitchmark and it trickled in with perfect speed.
You can tell on the downhill putts from six feet away as it's curling that they are going to drop.  That was a good one to have, especially after Retief chipped in and had built a little more of a lead.  That was a good putt.

Q.  You have done about everything out here that one can do except win.  You've been in this situation before, what have you learned from those things?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Patience more than anything.  Not getting ahead of myself.  I've slept on either leads or final group pairings before and I know like laying in bed, you're thinking about what a win can do and this and that.  I'm past that now in my career.
I know I have to take it one shot at a time.¬† I know the most important shot for me is the one coming up next, that tee shot on 1 tomorrow.¬† That's what I'm focusing on.¬† You have to get off to a good start out here, because you hit that stretch of 12, 13, 14, 15 playing into the wind that's as tough a stretch as we play all year when it's into the wind.¬† To get through there 1‑over, I think most guys would probably take that.

Q.  This is always typically a good test of golf, but this week it seems to be even more of a test.  Is there anything in particular this year that's different that's making it even more difficult than in years past?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, I mean, like you said, it always is tough out here.  I think the greens are firm enough that you get some holes that are downwind and you land it on the front edge and you're looking at, it's going to go 30, 40, feet past the hole and you land it on the front, it stays there, and that kikuyu grass just grabs it.
It's tough to get close to a lot of holes.¬† You're hitting a lot of long irons.¬† Even though the yardage doesn't seem like it's a beast, it plays a lot longer and harder than it is.¬† I mean, it's just‑‑ you have to leave the ball in the right place if you are going to miss, and I didn't really do that today and that's why I kind of made a few more bogeys than I would have liked to.

Q.  You had a firsthand view of Retief today and tomorrow.  What do you think of his game, especially just from where he's been, which is not much in contention?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  He played great.  He's a great guy to play with, especially under pressure circumstances, because you can just kind of look at him and see how cool and collected he is, with that just kind of silky smooth bomb that he hits off the tee.
He's a fun guy to watch play.¬† If I can‑‑ I'm a little bit more of an emotional player than that but I've learned over the years to not get too amped up or too down low.¬† I think playing with him is a good way to just keep the calm and just go about business.

Q.  A couple guys back home were wearing green tee shirts and following you, not as many as at Augusta, but do you ever pick up on those guys?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, you can just tell by their accents and some of the things they are saying, there's a few Canadians.  There were a few Canadian flags during yesterday's round.  Everywhere I go, there's always Canadians following, and you know, it would be special to get this championship.  Mike's got it twice, and to take it back home to Canada tomorrow.

Q.  Talk about sleeping on the lead and also keeping your composure and your emotions under control.  Is there an example, specific one in the past that you're going to draw from when you think about tomorrow?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Yeah, a little bit.  The first time I was ever in the final group was New Orleans and I know that I got really tight with my putter, and I was leaving a lot of putts way short.  I know now that I've got to relax and concentrate on a little bit of grip pressure when the pressure is really on.
But more than anything, like I was telling you, it's just staying in the moment and knowing that I'm obviously playing good golf right now and I know that this is a tough golf course and it's a pretty tight leaderboard, and there's one guy in there that's going to shoot a good round tomorrow, and I just hope that it's me.

Q.  What is that pressure like to have a whole country living and dying by your every shot hoping for you to replace Mike Weir?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  Well, I don't really feel it as pressure.  I think if you asked all the Canadians that, more than anything, we're like such a proud nation and we just cheer on our athletes.  That's what I feel more than pressure is I just feel support from 35 million people north of the border, and I'm going to do everything I can for them tomorrow.

Q.  Is there anything that you look to that's held you back from getting a win yet?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  No, I mean, I've been one shot out of a playoff I think five times now in my career.  So, I mean, a lot of times, I've felt like I've played well enough on Sunday and just maybe didn't get the bounces.  I was thinking about it today coming down 2.
I hit a wild tee shot kind of to the right and got a great bounce off the tree and ended up with an 8‑iron in just out of the rough.¬† I was thinking to myself, the other few times I finished second and third right in the hunt, I've never really gotten breaks on the weekend.
So maybe that was my break that could be the difference.¬†¬† I know we still have 18 holes to go but sometimes it's just a good bounce or that one holed put or chipping in down the stretch, and you know, I don't really know how obviously tomorrow is going to turn out.¬† But I know I'm going to be in the right mind‑set and that's all I can really do.

Q.  Of those five, is there one that stings the most?
GRAHAM DeLAET:¬† Hartford a couple years ago, because I had a great look on 15 for birdie, 4‑footer and I missed it, and then I bogeyed 16 and I missed in a playoff by one there.¬† That one probably stings more than any of them.

Q.  Any shots in your Arsenal today that you think need to be better, and which kind of shots do you think you need to hit better to win this thing tomorrow?
GRAHAM DeLAET:  I think I just need a little bit more precision with my iron shots coming into the green, hitting the right yardages.  It's a little bit of a guessing game because sometimes they take such big bounces.  You can land in just the tiniest little bit of upslope, and your ball kind of lands soft, even though you're straight downwind.  It's just picking that exact number and hitting that, and I think if I can do that tomorrow, and obviously keep them on line, you know, I'll have a certain number of looks and then it's all about just holing a few putts.
DOUG MILNE:  We appreciate your time.  Best of luck tomorrow.

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